The Post-Travel Malaise Day

When I travel back home from the West Coast, I essentially have two choices available to me: Take an overnight flight, on which I will not rest well, and then get home early(ish) and then spend the rest of the day a bit dazed, or leave on a morning flight, which will eat up the entire useful part of the day and get me home usually in the early evening. These days I tend to pick the overnight, on the basis that if I’m going to lose a useful day, at least I will get to be home for it.

So, that’s what I did coming back from Portland and Rose City Comic Con: Overnight flight, got home before noon, a useless brain for the rest of the day, but also, Krissy and Athena and the pets and just the general relief of being home. I think I made the right choice. Also, I’ll probably go to bed at, like, eight. Travel. It takes it out of me these days.

— JS

9 Comments on “The Post-Travel Malaise Day”

  1. Back in the day I used to travel all over the country to photograph weddings, taking red-eye flights, and being fine.

    Now I’m 54 and I plan my travel carefully, allowing for the “malaise day” before any other activity happens.

    I hope you got to enjoy your day with the family and the pets.

  2. Travel malaise is why I like to schedule my overseas vacations in three-week increments. The first week is a bizarre mindscape in which if I am not actually engaged in something, I nod off. And I feel kind of weird, similar to being drunk but not tipsy. After a week I am fine, and then having two weeks to actually vacate becomes awesome. I don’t exactly then welcome the return trip, but I don’t regret it as a too-early end to my bliss.

  3. I hear you!! I travel all over the country as a Locum. After 15 years, it’s getting old. But not old enough to go sit in an office all day, everyday, with a boss and be on call for holidays. I can’t give up the independence and flexibility.
    Rest up!!!

  4. now you get finally get revenge upon all us guys over 5’10”

    anyone flying since 2010 will confirm seats are smaller, leg gaps tighter and other passengers are fatter… OMG measurably fatter… so for those under 180LB and/or 5’10” things are not good but certainly nowhere as bad…

    and then there’s reduced cabin pressure… FAA has approved this aggravating slide ever downwards by airline companies… done to reduce flexing of exterior due to repeated cycles of depressurization which ‘age’ the airframe and therefore delay inevitable teardown & refurbishment… problem? nobody accustomed to sea level pressure is comfortable and the older-sicker-frailer-tired you are then the bigger the impact of sudden & severe depressurization…

    since I was a kid, every time I fly there’s a feeling of drowning which has worsened with my age and the FAA obedient to the demands of airline companies

    just how much that hits you (OGH) is something you need not share… but it could be basis of a future novel… someone gets so fed up she (or he) invents a gizmo to provide “easement”

  5. Having recently traveled to Ohio from California, and back, I feel for you. It wasn’t the time zones as much as the climate and culture shock. I sure miss living in rural Ohio. My 8 years in Lebanon really spoiled me.

  6. Hmf. I hail from New Zealand these days, and we just snort quietly (they’re very polite here) at the thought of a mere short hop.

    The worst I ever had was the full 12 hour jet lag after an endless flight (22 hrs?). Unreal, when your body is on night mode and the world is doing day. Took forever to get over it too. In hindsight, I should have done it in stages. London – NY for 3 days – SF 3 days – Honolulu 3 days – Suva, well, I mean, it’s Fiji make that 10 days – and then Auckland. Would be nice if you can afford the time and money.

  7. I would go for whichever option got me home soonest. IF I somehow got myself dragged out of my home in the first place.

  8. I get what you’re saying, but my wife will no longer take red eye flights, as we did in the past

    We used to go to England every summer. We’d take the night flight – generally leaving between 9 and 11 pm – and would get there in the morning. I’d usually catch at least a couple of hours sleep on the plane. When we got there, we would either go into London and start looking for theatre tickets, or rent a car and drive north, sometimes as far as York. It never bothered me, until at least later in the day. But as I got older, I noticed I was starting to get drowsy on the road, so time to stop. Another thing – if we got show tickets for the night we arrived, we’d both be falling asleep halfway through the show, so we started planning our arrival for Sunday, when the theatres are dark.

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